09 February, 2018

#Interview with Tanushree Podder, #Author of A Closetful of Skeletons

About the Author:
Born at New Delhi, she worked in the corporate sector for eight long years before Tanushree quit the rat race to wield her pen and found her calling. 
A well know travel writer and novelist, she is also known for the hundreds of ‘Middles’ that entertained readers of almost all English dailies in the country for over a decade. Tanushree is passionate about travelling and writing. If the lady is not packing her bags to zip around the world, she is sure to be found tapping the keys of her computer. 
With five successful novels, a dozen best selling nonfiction titles and few hundred travel tales under her belt, she is all set to launch into yet another voyage with words. 
She lives with her husband at Pune.

Contact the Author:
Website * Twitter * Goodreads

An Interview:

When did you first realize that you wanted to be a writer/ a storyteller?
I began narrating stories to my siblings when I was in the VIth. Recalling the rapt expression on their faces, I can say that the stories were quite interesting. That was the start of my journey. However, serious writing began only during my college years. 

What inspires you to write?
Writing is my oxygen.  Writing is a compulsion for me. I enjoy the process of turning an idea into a book, regardless of the outcome .  The appreciation of readers is an inspiration, of course.

How did you come up with the idea for your current story?
For a long time, I have wanted to write a murder mystery because I love reading detective fiction. Agatha Christie is one of my favourite authors.  The idea of writing the current story germinated when I read a news report about a murder that took place in a small town.

Are there some stories tucked away in some drawer that was written before and never saw the light of the day?
Yes, there are a couple stories that lie unfinished, in my drawer.  Both of them are three fourth done and I want to work on them at leisure.  They will see the light of the day, eventually, when I am ready to get them published.

Tell us about your writing process.
The writing process begins with the germination of an idea. I spend some time, working over the story in my mind, before I start writing. I imagine the characters, their traits, the setting and the way the story will progress. Once that is clear in my mind, I start keying the story into the computer. Thereafter, begins the lengthy process of drafting, redrafting, writing, editing and re-editing the story, before it is presented to the publisher.

What is your favorite scene in the book? Why?
My favourite scene in the book is when Ramola, the film star, makes an announcement that she was publishing her memoirs. The scene offered ample opportunity for dramatization. The reactions of the people as she makes the announcement at her birthday party, created an interesting canvas of emotions.

Did any of your characters inherit some of your own quirks?
Hahaha! Not in this book. Some of the other books have carried a couple of my quirks, but I am not about to reveal them.

What is your most interesting writing quirk?
My desk has to face a window. It is distracting, of course. The time I spend gazing out of the window is often more than the time I spend working. Also, I can't work if someone is hovering near me. 

Do you read? Who are your favourite authors and how have they influenced your writing style?
Like most writers, I read a lot. As for my favourite authors, I have many. PG Wodehouse, Agatha Christie, Jane Austen and Amitav Ghosh are just a few of them.  I don't know if they have influenced my writing style.  

What is the best piece of advice you have received, as a writer, till date?
Develop your own style of writing, don't ape anyone. That was the advice given by my mother, who was an avid reader.

What is the best piece of advice you would give to someone that wants to get into writing?
Perseverance and hard work along with dollops of positive attitude are a must for anyone wanting to wade into the troubled waters of writing. Do your best and be prepared for the worst.

If you were to be stranded on the famous deserted island, what three things would you carry?
A pen, notebook and my phone.

How do you spend your free time? Do you have a favorite place to go and unwind?
I am a nomad at heart and need no reason to go on a trip. The run of mill destinations are not my cup, and I don't have a favourite place. Any place that offers me sanctuary from crowd and noise, is my kind of place.

Can you share with us something off your bucket list?
There are quite a few items in my bucket list, which seems to be getting longer by the day. Hmmm, let me see. Visiting South Shetland Islands in the Antarctic is one of the items in the list.   

Tell us three fun facts about yourself.
I am clueless about the current crop of filmstars. A couple of years ago, I sat next to a prominent star without knowing who she was. When bored, I can switch off at a party. I am quite absentminded. Once, I introduced myself twice to the same set of people at a party.

What do you have in store next for your readers?
Another murder mystery.

About the Book:
Five men are on their way to a hill station, where Ramola, a fading movie star, waits for them to make an announcement that will change their lives forever. Ramola withdrew from the public eye at the peak of her stardom. Now, surrounded by retired couples spending their twilight years gardening and gossiping, her life is idyllic. Or at least it was, till the night of her birthday party, when she announces that her tell-all memoir will soon be published. The book, documenting her rise to fame, puts each of her ex-lovers' careers in jeopardy. As each desperate man tries to save himself, Ramola is drawn back into the very web of lies and deception she'd left behind. By the time the party is over, Ramola's neighbour, retired army officer and amateur sleuth, Colonel Arjun H. Acharya, has found his first murder to solve. A Closetful of Skeletons reels you into a cosy world of fresh mountain air, long-drawn bridge games and bloody murder.

Goodreads * Amazon

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